Square Dance History Project
The rich story of North American square dance finally has a home in the digital age.

Browse Items (101 total)

  • Subject is exactly "Traditional Western (pre-1940)"
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"Abilene lift" - Rickey Holden

Caller Rickey Holden calls and dances the "Abilene lift," a style of movement created and popularized by west Texas caller Bob Sumrall. The 1-2-3 shuffle of feet gave the dancers a smooth movement;… View item
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"Meet Your Honey, Go Hog Wild"

This collection of anecdotes describes early dances and social norms in Texas cowboy country. View item
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"Partners To Your Places

This 1949 chapter by Olcutt Sanders is a significantly expanded version of his short piece fromFoot 'n' Fiddle in 1947. Here it's complete with scholarly footnotes, making it more useful to… View item
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"So They Gave Up Football"

These two articles were written by Erna Egender, a member of the Cheyenne Mountain Dancers for that group's first trip east, in 1939. The title relates to a ful-page layout created by the Associated… View item
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"So They Gave Up Football"

This full-page article and layout of photographs was created by the Associated Press, drawing attention to Lloyd Shaw and the Cheyenne Mountain Dancers. The top right photo shows the bus in which the… View item
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"The Good Ole Days" - Olcutt Sanders, 1949

Dance historian Olcutt Sanders asks, "As you unwound yourself from the mazes of the latest square dance concoction introduced at your club meeting, did your ever wonder how people ever got along… View item
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"The Texas Cattle Country and Cowboy Square Dance" – Olcutt Sanders

This article, scholarly yet accessible, provides an excellent look at square dancing in west Texas in the late 1800s. He starts with a look at the conditions that set this region apart from… View item
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Cowboy Dance Tunes – excerpt

This was first published as a separate booklet in 1940 to accompany Lloyd Shaw's Cowboy Dances, which appeared in 1939. Shaw provides an introduction.Jim Saxe notes, "The same tune collection,… View item
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Cowboy Square Dances of West Texas

This booklet provides an introduction to West Texas square dances. After a detailed glossary, complete with diagrams, the author provides a sample of dances as they might be called. The patter is… View item
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Promenade - Seven Cowboy Dances

This little booklet plays on the popularity of square dancing as introduced by Lloyd and his Cheyenne Mountain Dancers. The booklet was released by Women's Home Companion, a popular monthly magazine… View item
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Texas Dance Memories

This booklet was compiled by Betty Casey; it presents an overview of Texas square dance history. The booklet features short profiles of 14 "first pacesetters," figures who are important in the history… View item
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1940 Texas Square Dance Contest

Newspaper accounts of a square dance competition won by Bob Sumrall's Abilene set. The story goes into detail about each of the six competing teams,naming each of the dancers, the judges, and… View item